Whether you’ve had a Sonos surround sound system for a while or you’re a newbie to the world of Sonos, there are many ways you can optimise your Sonos ecosystem. This blog shows you how to enhance your Sonos Surround Sound system, and we name just a few below.

1. Switch your Sonos surround speakers from ambient to full

Your Sonos surround sound speakers are designed to provide you with ambient background channels when watching TV content (meaning the volume of the rear speakers are generally slightly quieter than the front).

By default, your Sonos rear speakers will be set to Ambient mode in the Sonos settings.

Ambient mode means when you are watching TV, the surrounds act as rear speakers, but when listening to music, they remain quite ambient as surround speakers, which is not ideal for music.

We find that to enhance your Sonos Surround Sound System you get a much better experience when switching to Full mode. This means when you are playing music through your Sonos surround sound system, your rear speakers will switch to a full stereo pair and will provide a much more room-filling sound.

When you switch back to TV, they will also revert to rear surrounds as they should be.

We also recommend setting the surround level volume slider to around 75% as it gives an extra punch to your surrounds.

How to change Sonos surround settings

Go to your Sonos app then select:

Settings > System > Select the room your system is in > Surround Audio > Music Playback > Choose Ambient or Full


2. Tune your Sonos speakers to the room they’re in with TruePlay


You may have heard us mention the word TruePlay a lot - but we cannot emphasise enough the sound quality improvement this process makes to your Sonos speakers.

You will point your iPhone or iPad device’s microphone towards the edges of your room and Sonos will gauge the rough size and layout of your room.

Sonos will emit test tones to listen for feedback from your room’s walls and furniture and then acoustically tune the sound for your exact seating position.

If you don’t have an Apple device, then we strongly recommend you borrow one from a family member or friend just for the setup.

Trust us, it’s worth it!

Note: if you add a Sub or rear speakers to a Sonos home cinema speaker, the TruePlay procedure will need to be re-done.

How to TruePlay your Sonos speakers

Open the Sonos app > Settings > System > Select room you'd like to tune > Trueplay > Trueplay Tuning


3. Add voice control to your Sonos home cinema



We’ve had many customers ask “is voice control all it’s hyped up to be?”

Our honest answer to this is admittedly, at first thought, it sounds a bit gimmicky. However, we have found the more we used voice assistants, the more we liked it.

It’s not only great to ask Alexa or Google Assistant to start playing your favourite music using your voice, but it’s equally as good for world knowledge. You can use Alexa or Google Assistant like you would Google and ask it literally anything for instant answers.

The Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc both have Alexa and Google Assistant built into the unit, but you can use them with any Sonos speaker if you own an Amazon Echo or Google Home device with a simple pairing between the Sonos App and voice assistant app.

We recommend just giving it a try!

Below is our little video demo of the Google Assistant on the Sonos One:

4. Pair your own TV remote with Sonos

If you haven’t done so already, we strongly recommend pairing your own TV remote with Sonos for volume control - this will enhance your Sonos Surround Sound system usage

All Sonos TV speakers including the Sonos Amp have a built-in infrared sensor and can receive useful commands like mute, volume up and down.

This will also work if you’re playing music through your Sonos to save you using the Sonos app to adjust volume.

How to pair your TV remote with Sonos

Open the Sonos app > Settings > System > Select the room > Remote Control Set Up


5. Enable Autoplay for seamless switching between sources

Autoplay means your Sonos TV speaker will automatically switch sources when it senses a new one.

For example, if you were listening to music on your Sonos through Spotify, then turned your TV on, your Sonos would automatically switch to the TV audio and vice versa.

Autoplay should be enabled by default when you set the speakers up but to toggle between the Autoplay setting, follow the steps below:

Open the Sonos app > Settings > System > Select the room > Scroll down to Home Theater and the TV Autoplay slider should be set to the right


6. Turn on Speech Enhancement or Night mode

Speech Enhancement

Speech Enhancement is a feature available on all Sonos TV speakers and we would strongly recommend enabling this feature permanently to enhance your Sonos Surround sound system. It emphasises the vocals in your TV content without dumbing down anything else.

This is particularly useful for anyone hard of hearing as an alternative to subtitles or if you just want to hear speech more clearly.


Night Mode

Just because it's late at night when the kids are asleep, doesn't mean you can't enjoy your favourite content. With Night Mode, you can suppress the louder sounds in the content while at the same time, increasing the levels of the quieter sounds.

This is ideal for keeping the neighbours and sleeping kids happy!

Both Speech Enhancement and Night Mode can be enabled or disabled by tapping the respective icons on the Now Playing screen.


Q. What is the best Sonos speaker for a Sonos surround sound setup

A. This is quite subjective, but our favourite Sonos speaker to use for surround sound would be the Sonos One SL. Having said that, if you’re looking for more power, or you have a large room, the Sonos Five is also a great option. If you’d prefer something more discreet or you have limited room, the Ikea Symfonisk picture frame or table lamp are also fantastic choices.

Q. Can I use the Sonos Roam as surround sound speakers?

A. Unfortunately, you can’t use the Sonos Roam for surround sound currently. This isn’t to say this won’t change in the future. Currently, you can use the following speakers for surrounds;

  • One (all generations) and One SL
  • Play:1
  • Play:3
  • Play:5 (Gen 2)
  • Five
  • All SYMFONISK speakers
  • Amp powering third party speaker
  • Connect:Amp powering third party speaker
  • Why is my Sonos surround not working?

Q. Why is my Sonos surround not working?

A. In the unlikely event that you have any issues with your surround sound, please submit a diagnostic to Sonos using the details below;







By Jonathan

Sonos Specialist

"I hope you found these tips useful and if you'd like to receive the latest Sonos tips, tricks and new features respectfully delivered to your inbox, why not sign up to our e-newsletter below?"

Looking to expand your Sonos system?

We're so glad you found us! Smart Home Sounds are a UK home audio retailer who are passionate about Sonos and have used it for many years ourselves.

If you are looking to add products to your Sonos system, we'd love to help. We pride ourselves on our customer service, offering an extended 6 year warranty and next day delivery at no extra cost.

We also offer interest-free pay monthly options if you would like to split the cost over 12 months and a VIP loyalty scheme entitling you to exclusive discounts on your future purchases with us.

VIEW all Sonos speakers


Related Articles

Best Sonos Accessories to jazz up your set up >>

Is the Sonos Sub worth it? >>

Which Sonos speakers should I choose for Sonos surround sound? >>